Live Your Nightmares at Knott’s Scary Farm

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I was provided with tickets and Fright Lane passes to attend opening night at Knott’s Scary Farm. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Knott’s Scary Farm is no doubt Orange County’s favorite annual haunt event. It’s definitely something that I, as a horror fan and thrill seeker, look forward to every single year. Locals and visitors flock to the gates of Knott’s Berry Farm after dark, just so they can live their worst nightmares. I wasn’t sure what to expect for the 2017 season – would they be able to come up with something that really scared me? Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes they would.

As the sun set over Ghost Town and the fog rolled in, I could just feel the presence of the horrifying creatures lurking in the shadows. Knott’s has over 1,000 of them creeping through the fog and hiding in every corner of the park. And they know just the right time to pop out and terrify you.

Once you make it through the thick Ghost Town Fog, you can head to one of the nine horrifying mazes they have throughout the park. This year’s line-up includes repeat favorites, Voodoo, The Tooth Fairy, Paranormal Inc., and Special Ops: Infected. There are also some new mazes, including Pumpkin Eater, and The Dark Ride. Another fan favorite maze, Trick or Treat, was updated with a fun and interactive twist. (You can see details for all of the mazes here, including teaser videos that you may or may not want to watch.)

“Don’t go near the red barn…” they said. But we went in anyway. Red Barn was one of two mazes that managed to scare me. It has that backwoods Deliverance vibe that just really creeps me out. Just when I thought we were done, I found myself screaming and running back into the maze. (Um, take my advice and don’t do that.)

The other maze that I don’t know if I can even step foot in again is the brand new Dark Ride. We asked an employee his thoughts before stepping inside and he told us that the first few rooms of the maze were not too scary, but the end was a solid ten on a 1-10 scale. Here’s the description:

Journey through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel carny folk still linger in the shadows in Dark Ride, Knott’s Scary Farm’s newest maze. The shunned performers have created an ominous world of terror which they plan to unleash on those who enter. Dark Ride will lead brave visitors through a treacherous path and into the bowels of a long-neglected attraction, as sinister shadows and horrifying scenes cast gloom over the once pleasant ride. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare, being helplessly surrounded by clowns without a way out.

There is a first time for everything, and in this maze I experienced a first. I almost ran through an emergency exit because I didn’t want to keep going. I have never exited a haunted attraction early, and though I did finish this maze, it was only because the rest of my group pushed me through it. Bravo to Jon Cooke, who dreamt up this terrifying masterpiece and succeeded at scaring the crap out of me.

You don’t have to pretend to be scared, they’ll get you eventually.

(Photo Courtesy of Mia Cupcake)

In between the mazes, you have to walk through four Scare Zones that are chock full of monsters lurking literally around every corner. Ghost Town Streets, the original and largest scare zone; Fiesta De Los Muertos, featuring colorful costumes and larger-than-life stilt walkers; The CarnEVIL scare zone, there’s clowns – lots of clowns; and returning for a second year, The Hollow scare zone, filled with The Headless Horseman’s undead army.

One thing you do not want to miss is this year’s Elvira show, Mistress of the Dark. Unfortunately this is her final appearance at Knott’s Scary Farm, so it’s a good idea to get there early and get a seat because the theater will be pretty packed with adoring fans wanting to see her go out with a bang.

We’re going to miss you so much, Elvira.

Knott’s Scary Farm is open September 21st through October 31st. Tickets start at $40 for admission, and ticket packages are available. Grab your friends and head into the fog!

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About Angela Bishop

Angela is a Florida transplant who has been living in Orange County since 2004. She loves music, driving on the freeway (even in the SoCal traffic), trying new foods, and traveling near and far. When she’s not covering local events, she’s talking about her crazy family over on http://mommy-mania.com.

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